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ERIC Number: ED523082
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 333
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-0886-6
Lost in Suburbia? Conversations with Teachers of Color about Their Experiences in Suburban Schools
Lee, Vera Jeannie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
The main purpose of this study is to explore the socialization and teaching experiences of eight teachers of color in two suburban high schools that are located within the same school district. The central research questions that guide the study are: How do teachers of color talk about their socialization and teaching experiences in two predominantly European American high schools? How do these experiences intersect with issues of race/ethnicity, cultural differences, and identity? The study utilized a qualitative research design that was co-constructed with the participants. The two main instruments used to collect data were weekly one-on-one semi-structured interviews with the teachers, as well as monthly group meetings in which the participants discussed racially themed texts and school related events. In addition, a constant comparative methodology was utilized to interpret, code, and analyze the transcriptions. The study yielded three major findings about the minority teachers' socialization experiences in their schools. Some of the teachers were unfairly scrutinized in terms of their teaching practices and their interactions with other teachers of color, some of them developed in-school identities that intentionally hid significant aspects of their cultural/ethnic identities, and some reported incidents of involuntary social and professional isolation within their buildings. The study also revealed three major ideas about the participants' teaching experiences. The teachers had to overcome various obstacles that affected their work, their teaching beliefs were connected to sociopolitical goals, and they expressed concerns about the students of color in their schools. The implications from the study suggest that in schools where there is a limited presence of minority teachers, issues of race and cultural differences are more evident, and they complicate the interactions between teachers of color and European American teachers. Specific recommendations include the need for sustained "in-house meetings" for school faculty to foster understanding and heightened awareness of the behaviors and perceptions exhibited by the European American teachers that marginalize teachers of color. Furthermore, teachers with limited experience in working with students from diverse backgrounds would benefit from professional development programs that provide instructional strategies and pedagogies that incorporate the cultures and backgrounds of students of color. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A